Well, you could’ve expected it. In a time where even Maserati and
Bentley participate in the SUV-hype, of course Jaguar has to join in on them as well. There was a problem though. Because isn’t a Jaguar SUV just a
Range Rover? The English thought not. And they may have a point there. A Land or Range Rover is
primarily meant for off-roading. Even a Evoque Convertible
knows it’s way around in the mud. So the pressure to achieve things off-road isn’t there. That way
Jaguar can focus on the sporty bit, more sports than utility. Jaguar has also admitted that the Porsche Macan was the main
inspiration. That gives them another problem. They’ve set the bar very high for themselves. The Macan isn’t only good to drive, but it’s also very well built,
because it’s a Porsche. When it comes to interior, Jaguar has some good cards. Traditionally,
Jaguars always look good and clean on the inside. Good materials. It also feels like quality. But, even more important is this new
multimedia-system. It’s called InControl. It comes in two versions. A normal one and a InControl Touch Plus,
I think. Very excessive name. The new system is fully operated by touch. Touchscreens weren’t
Jaguars strong point, their touchscreens were slow and confusing but with this they’ve really outdone themselves and even
every other touchscreen in a car, it’s just like a smartphone. Everything reacts immediately, you can swipe, you can drag.
It really responds quickly, good graphics as well. Besides that it comes with everything you can expect from a modern
car. A lot of safety measures, WiFi-connection for your phone It looks good, it works briliantly. The only thing I miss is the
support for AndroidAuto or Apple CarPlay. What I do like however, is the space on the backseats. And in
the boot you have 650 litres of luggage space, that’s 150 litres more than in the Macan.
The first impression is pretty good, let’s take it for a spin then. The driving then, that’s the part where the Macan really excels,
so the Jag really has to prove itself. It does that in a way that it’s really nice to drive. Especially for
a SUV. It’s not rock solid, I’d skip these 22″ inch wheels though, but it’s a good compromise. Relatively few body roll through corners.
And then it grips. You feel it’s got rear-wheel drive. but when you start to lose grip, the front kicks in. Then it’s 4-wheel
drive. So you feel the rear propells the car forward. It feels quite agile actually. Okay, it’s got a lot of aluminium but it stays
heavy. Even this V6 weighs around 1800kg and that’s just a lot, so in tight corners you feel it’s pushing earlier than a XE for example.
Nevertheless it’s dynamic, it’s agile, the steering isn’t too heavy, so that’s okay, it’s really isn’t ‘just’ a Range Rover. But, it just isn’t
a Macan. That’s because you can order the Macan with air-suspension and an electronically controlled differential lock on the rear-axle.
And if you get those, you’ve got a car that fools Newton, then you’ve got a car which is very comfortable and really quick
in corners. This F-Pace with adaptive dampers comes pretty close, but a Macan can push the envelope even more. The F-Pace however has got something over the Macan though, and
that’s the engine selection. The Macan is only available with
6-cylinders, whilst the F-Pace is available with 4-cylinder engines. For now
there’s only the 4-cylinder diesel, but a petrol 4-cylinder will reach the shelves as well. Next to those 4-cylinders there are two
6-cylinders. A 3,0-litre V6 diesel and a 3,0-litre V6 compressor on petrol which you know from the F-Type. We’re driving the latter now
with the biggest power, 380 hp, and it’s pretty quick. It’s connected to an 8-speed automatic gearbox, with pretty smooth
gear changes, but a Macan changes gear more smoothly, when you’re driving in low-RPM’s it just reacts better but
listen to the sound of the F-Pace… That’s just beautiful isn’t it? A 3,0-litre V6 with a howling
compressor aboard. It really gets to the little boy inside of you. It isn’t as
outrageous as the F-Type, but there aren’t many 6-cylinders which sound so incredibly good. It really dares you to
play with the throttle. And that just sums up the F-Pace. I wouldn’t say it’s better than a
Macan, but it’s a very good competitor. It’s got a lot of things to rival the Macan. Maybe the Porsche is a
little bit more perfectionistic, but the Jag has got some kind of defiance, which fits perfectly with Jag.
Mind you, tunnel coming up… So, it’s a little less perfectionistic and a little bit more English. What
surprises me most though, is that I’ve been driving this all day and I haven’t thought for a second that I was driving a rebadged